NBA 2K17 Review

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Thanks to 2K Sport’s pre-order early release (take notes everyone else), the NBA 2K17 review is here! Is it an improvement or has 2K gone stale?

MyTeam allows you to create awesome uniforms, import logos from the PC and design your own court.



Graphically, NBA 2K17 is a significant step up from 2K16, and features an improved lighting system. As soon as my first Play Now game between the Warriors and Cavaliers loaded, I immediately saw the difference in the player’s skin (it no longer looks like plastic), the improved fans/atmosphere (wow!) and the high definition hoops and nets.

It is definitely a game that you have to see in HD on your TV, and not judge strictly off of YouTube videos.

  • Colors are much more accurate
  • Lighting is world’s better than 2K16
  • Player expressions have been re-worked, and for the most part, look better than before


Presentation has also seen big improvements. Gone is the horrible scoreboard from the last 2 years and the noisy overlays. In comes a clean, TV-like scoreboard with realistic overlays. A random example of presentation improvement is with the referees. They now speak and are animated in high definition (see the below video).


  • The crowd is unreal, with team-specific chants and presence
  • Overlays are world’s better than before
  • The Pre-Game show is hysterical and awesome
  • Instant Replays showcase the big moments perfectly (see below)
  • Face Scans are improved thanks to the iOS/Android Face Scan App


  • Commentary has improved, but still sounds similar to me
  • The Timeout Menu is horrific (WAY too many graphics, as opposed to a simple, effective approach)

Gameplay (Offensive)

Offensively, NBA 2K17 finally gives control back to the players. The dribbling system was re-done and now rewards players with skills (you have to manually string crossovers together). Rebounding is great with a lot of variety, dribbles look smoother and the game just feels so much better.

The Shot-Stick and Shot Meter have seen an overhaul as well, allowing you to time every type of shot you take (layups included). When I first heard this, I was a little worried (since 2K already has too many missed layups) but it is implemented so well. Getting a “green” shot feels great and the freedom to pull up with any type of shot from anywhere is a welcome addition.

  • Crossing people over has never felt this rewarding
  • Shot Meter makes sense and allows a lot of freedom
  • Play-calling is great and functional (use the Pick and Roll!)

Gameplay (Defensive)

Defensively, NBA 2K17 feels pretty similiar to year’s past (which isn’t a bad thing). The game controls tighter, and allows you to apply the type of defense that you want on your opponent. Blocks look clean, player movement is much smoother and the AI is just smarter than before.

  • Blocks are less frequent (like real life)
  • Pick and Rolls Under/Overs are more realistic



Again, like in my Madden review, I consider myself a simulation-style sport’s gamer who wants what is on my TV, emulated back to me whenever I want. NBA 2K (to me) has been this for years, and this is just another step in the right direction for the franchise. I love NBA 2K17 and see it as a great improvement over 2K16.

Overall Score

9.1 out of 10



  • Dribbling is finally skill-dependent, allowing the good players to shine and the bad players to hit the practice gym.
  • Commentary can sound a little scripted and stale sometimes (I will admit that I need to progress further in my Franchise to see the diversity).
  • Presentation mimics TV’s broadcast much more so than before. Would still love to see official TNT integration, but I can dream right?
  • Had a little more online lag than usual (not related to my ISP). I am sure this will be fixed via patch.
  • Graphics are so clean and gorgeous.
  • NBA 2K17 is more fun than NBA 2K16 was.

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